The Invitation

A special treat: this post was written by my wife.

It’s an invitation to play.

C offers me one of two cars he has in his hands. “Mommy plays black car." Black car and red car cruise along the banister and crash!

We smile and do it again.

A day later, C comes up to me with two boats, one green, one orange. He hands me the orange one. "Mommy’s boat.” It takes me a second because I’m not used to this. I’m on the phone. I hang up and we sail our boats around the coffee table.

Then it hits me: orange is my favorite color. We talk about favorite colors.

I am suddenly aware of how far C has come: less that a year ago, he just pushed vehicles back and forth; today we’re pretending to sail boats at the beach.

Our interactions are short and simple, but they happen. They are less impressive — but far more important — than memorized lists of spelled words and counting backward.

C wants to play with his Mommy, he laughs with Daddy. He asks to get into M's crib and sit with him. Last night C couldn’t sleep so he came into our bed. We stared at each other for a long time. This is also new.

I said, “I love you more than one hundred, C.” He smiled.

Today at lunch we sat across the table from each other, just the two of us.

He mumbled, “Mommy I love you more than one hundred.” I jumped in with an eager, "Well I love you more than two hundred! More than three hundred!“

He was impressed. There was a long pause.

“I love Mommy more than four hundred.”

This kid keeps upping the ante.

And he keeps winning.